Review

AMD Radeon CluB3D HD 6850 Review

Introduction and  Specifications

Before i start the Review itself, you are asking yourself, Why reading another HD6850 Review?

Because most of the reviews around talk almost only about Gaming Performance, and most gamers nowadays “Know how to play there money right”. So this Review will have another side, that this isn’t just a card for Gamers, it has a lot of Other features, technologies wich can be used for the Professional and Domestical Branch. And i got to say, I was pleased when at the CluB3D Box Was written “Professional”.

Architecture and Technologies

Barts Architecture Refresh

Since the realease of the HD5000 Series in September 2010, Advanced Micro Devices or AMD had a worldwide increase in the market of graphics cards, been the only one for about half a year with cards with Dx11 as well as Eyefinity, and a Green GPU.

The “Barts” Architecture – Radeon HD 6800 series

Barts chip, known as the HD 6800 series, is based on the Evergreen Optimized for the HD 5000 series.  There were some changes in the architecture and design of the chip that allow AMD to offer improved performance and better performance per watt.

What was AMD able to improve and compel us to buy the new HD 6800 cards?

So putting it simple , the new cards have improved tessellation performance , a new anti-aliasing feature, an update on UVD section and even support for newer display multiple configurations.It’s inevitable to  compare but all of this with similar performance seen on HD5850.

On this Chart you see a Full Barts Gpu being smilar to the HD5000 series Card, Cypress GPU. The “new” architecture is basically the same but has been reconfigured to improve performance per square mm of die space.  Notice that now there are 14 SIMD engines totaling 1120 stream processors.  Yes, that is fewer stream processors than the 1440 found in the Radeon HD 5850 but thanks to increased clock speeds and other changes the Barts GPU will be quite competitive.The memory interface is 256-bit connection but it is slightly “smaller” compared to the Cypress controller, to save die space, this too allows for a energy saving purposes.

Tesselation

Tessellating the Right Way

  • Focus on most efficient tessellation usage models
  • Ideally want ~16 pixels per polygon
  • Best balance of image quality and performance
  • Adaptive tessellation helps achieve this
  • Use high levels only for objects close to viewer, on silhouette edges, or in areas with fine detail
  • Use low levels for distant or simple objects to improve performance and avoid geometry aliasing problems

Hardware-based tessellation is a cornerstone of DirectX 11. Has the ability to efficiently generate massive geometry and then to apply what’s known as a displacement map makes it a tasty technique for adding complexity and detail to a scene without a huge computational cost.But in the past this meant a hefty performance penalty for AMD’s DX11 cards! So AMD needed to develop a way to decrease the overall “cost” of implementing one of the integral features of the DX11 ecosystem.

Here are some ilustrtive images how Tesselation works, but in my point of View it still needs Improvements from both AMD and Nvidea, not because the tecnologie but because it causes a lot of performance decrese in Game.

Further in The Review Stress Testes will be Done Regarding HD6850 Tesselation Performance.

Video, New AA, Display Technology, 3D

The architectural changes on the new Radeon HD 6800 series of cards (and the Barts GPU) are minimal but that doesn’t mean that AMD wasn’t trying to come up with new and interesting features aswell. There have been some improvements in these areas well, starting with the updated UVD3 engine.

UVD (universal video decoder) is AMD’s name for their video processing engine wich is responsible for accelerating Blu-ray/HD video decoding and improving the visual quality of videos you View on your PC.

The UVD3 engine adds hardware acceleration support for entropy, transforms and motion compensation across MPEG-4, Blu-ray and MPEG-2 video.  Newer post processing effects have been added into the Catalyst Control panel  too.

The New AA

A new AA method is being released with the new driver associated with the HD 6800 series of cards, but Radeon HD 5800 card users will take advantage of it as well. Morphological AA,This is a post-processing technique that takes advantage of DirectCompute to filter the image after it has been completely rendered by the GPU. It delivers full-scene AA and is not limited to polygon edges, alpha surfaces, etc.

Still Don´t get it?

Morphological AA is basically a new form of fullscreen anti-aliasing that delivers an image quality which is comparable to Super Sample AA, but can be implemented with a fraction of SSAA’s performance hit. The AA algorithms are calculated more efficiently by leveraging the GPGPU compute abilities of modern Radeon cards and the power of the DirectCompute API. Since the post-processing filtering is done by DirectCompute, the whole scene can be quickly analyzed so this AA method isn’t limited to only certain aspects of a given image.

Eyefinity

It is a feature that started in the Radeon series 5000, and got optimized on the 6000 series graphics cards.

With the introduction of Eyefinity technology, Users interested in using multi monitor setup no longer had to worry about spotty driver support or jumping through hoops to get things working properly.

About Combined Display

ATI’s Series 6000 graphics cards will be able to drive one to six monitors per graphics card depending on the limitations about monitor connectivity.

Wi th Eyefinity you can combine monitors and get your groove on up-to say 7680×3200 pixels separated over several monitors — multiple monitors to be used as a single display.

Here are some Examples of what you can do with this Feature.

  • Single monitor setup at 2560×1600
  • Dual monitor setup at 2560×1600 per monitor
  • Three monitors setup at 2560×1600 per monitor
  • Six monitors setup at 1920×1080 per monitor

AMD APP Technology

AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (APP) Technology, is nothing more then a technologie that is being renamed. The Stream name was once given to ATI’s GPGPU compute initiative to differentiate it from NVIDIA’s highly successful CUDA environment.

AMD’s new APP SDK v2.2 is about to hit developers’ doorsteps and with it will come the integration of OpenCL computing for both x86-based CPUs and GPUs. This is one of APP’s major benefits over NVIDIA’s competing solution as it can be leveraged for a heterogeneous environment where specific tasks are sent towards the processor which will complete them most efficiently.

In Resume of All the “New”  Technologies is that majority aren’t New  but Optimized Versions.


Packaging and Contents

It Comes Very Well Wrapped and Protected.

I Think this is the Tradictional Package of CluB3D,I like It, it’s simple and atractive, not like a lot of Cards from Other Marks with swords or strange creatures, this has a more professional look to it.

The back has a lot of usefull Information, about Tecnologies, Card Conectores , Recommended PSU, Hardware Requirements, etc.

You will receive:

  • Graphics card
  • Driver CD
  • DVI adapter
  • CrossFire Bridge
  • Documentation

The CLub3D HD6850 in Detail

The Image is turned Upside Down, because i wanted you to see the cooler of the Club3D Radeon HD 6850 is a cost-effective Performance cooler supplied by Club3D . It covers the whole card , has Copper Pipelines to Transport The heat from GPU to the Aluminium Heat sink where it is dissipated.

The Back It’s pretty much the usual.

Like all other High End or HD6850/70 cards released nowadays, the ClubHD 6850 requires two slots in your system.

The card has two DVI ports, one DisplayPort and one HDMI port. AMD’s display output logic is clearly superior to what NVIDIA has to offer at this time. Vendors are free to combine six TMDS links into any output configuration they want (dual-link DVI consuming two links) – and use them all at the same time. AMD has also introduced DisplayPort 1.2 support with their new cards which allows the use of a DisplayPort hub to connect multiple monitors, or daisy chain them together.


Test System

Test System – VGA
CPU: I5 750 @ 3,5Ghz/2,3v
Motherboard: Asus P7P55D
Memory: Geil Gaming EVO 2x2048MB 10660@1750Mhz /7-9-7 24
Harddrive: 2x WD250GB@Raid0 + WD 500GB Sata II
Power Supply: Antec TP 750
Software: Windows 7 64-bit
Drivers: ATI: Catalyst 10.7
HD 6800: Catalyst 10.10 Oct 12
Display: Samsung P2370 (1920×1080)

CPU-Z Screenshots

Club3D HD6850 1GB GDDR5 Performance Testing

Before going into the Stress testes. Notice that ALL these will be done Based on the Test System above, and they will me manly Divided in two Parts:

  • Default Clocks on Card (Both HD6850 vs HD5850)
  • Overcloking Clocks on Card (HD6850 vs HD6850 OC)

I think it’s inevitable not to Compare HD5850 ~240€ to HD6850~140€ and really see how much has AMD improved,and take in consideration that HD6850 Card didn’t came to replace High End Cards like HD5850/70.

Soo We Compared HD5850 vs HD6850, and to make sure the Results are truthfull we performed/Updated our Old HD5850 Stress testes with the Setup Above, HD5850 @Default.

Default Clocks

Specifications

- Graphics Processor ATI Radeon HD6850
– 960 Stream Processors (775MHz), 32 ROPs
– Memory 1GB GDDR5, 4GHz effective
– Bandwidth 128GB/sec, 256-bit interface
– Compatability DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.1, 3D Stereooscopic
– Outputs/Inputs Single-link DVI, dual-link DVI, DisplayPort, HDMI
– Size 235mm long, dual-slot
– Power Connectors 1 x 6-pin PCI-E

3D Mark Vantage

Has i expected, on 3DMark Vantage, the HD5850 is faster than the HD6850 because of the Stream Processors stating the difference, at what it concerns about brute force.

Notice that  these results are just of the GPU Score, has the Graphic shows, and not the Overall Score.

 

Tesselation@Unigine Heaven Benchmark v2.1

HD6850

HD5850

Extreme

HD6850

HD5850

  • The diferences are really few, in Extreme Tesselation HD6850 surpasses HD5850 wich is amazing taking in consideration that HD5850 Tesselation performance was really one of it great aspects when realeased.

 

Gaming Performance

Since at this time i think focusing too much in Gaming is an error, the teste will be done in 3 major games: Crysis Warhead , Dirt2 , Lost Planet 2.

 

Crysis Warhead

Crysis is consider to be a major Gaming stress tens , as always here it is:

  • In Gamer Settings (“lower”), the diference goes about ~5/6 Frames
  • In Enthusiast (“Higher”) , the diference is about ~3 Frames, so good results for the HD6850 i wasn’t expecting it to be so good taking in consideration it’s lower Bandwith.

 

DIRT 2

  • ~5 Frames in Dirt 2@FullHD 8xAA Ultra, not bad at All

 

 

  • Another Major game for Stressing Cards, expect equal performance from both Cards @ FullHD 8xAA High

Temperatures, Fan Speed ,Noise and Power Consumption

FULL LOAD

Honestly I was expecting HD6850 to have lower Idle Temperatures then HD 5850.

Looking at the Results only there are something that you dont see, wich are very Important wich is, at Furmark the HD6850 Fan has gone up only up to ~55%, and was as still inperceptable.While the HD5850 was at about ~67%.

So HD6850 is a More Cooler and Quiet Card.

Power Consumption

No Surprises here HD6850 is More Watt/Performance Effective.

 

Overclock

Has you may hae Noticed in the testing system I am Against Extreme Overclocking, i think Overclock is at is Best when you can Achive a Optimal Relation beetwen Performance,Temperature, Noise and Power comsuption.

Overcloking Clocks

GPU: 775Mhz » 850Mhz
MEM: 4.0Ghz » 4.4Ghz

 

3DMark Vantage


3D Mark vantage shows Good increased performance with 24/7 Overclocking. Im starting to think i am about to get really surprised by the Performance increased with the OC.

 

Unigine Heaven Benchmark v2.1


The small Overall increase Performance in tesselation is expected, especially in the Extreme stress test. Since the Card it’s pretty much at it’s hardware processing limit don’t expect  to get much Performance increase even if you go up on your Overclocking Clocks.

 

Gaming Performance

Crysis Warhead

That’s about a ~3FPS performance increase even at Enthusiast in Crysis , those extra frames are always Welcome.

DIRT 2

Lost Planet 2

 

That’s roughly about the same results.

Temperatures, Fan Speed ,Noise and Power Consumption

Idle

The temperature and Fan speed with the Overlcocking are the same , most likely isn’t bad read, but happens because the card is with 0% Load.

Load

With the Overclocking the temperature have only increased 2ºC, it’s acceptable. But the Fan to maintain the 72ºCelcius, had a  rotation to ~60%, unlike without OC, that was 55% (70º), still it’s quiet at least the Club3D HD6850!

  • Radeon HD 6850 ~ $179.
  • Good performance for the price segment
  • Improvement in performance per Watt
  • Low power consumption
  • Native full-size HDMI output
  • HDMI 1.4 & DisplayPort 1.2 support
  • EyeFinity support – up to 6 displays with one card
  • Cool and Quiet Card , the Club3D HD6850.(not reference)
  • No support for CUDA / PhysX

Conclusion

This is a Club3D HD6850, there a other HD6850’s out there from other Companies. What you should expect is that all of them to have about the same performance and Power Consumtion at Default Clocks.

So if you are about to buy one HD6850 it all comes Down to Wich of them is better in Overclocking Performance, has lower Temperatures and Noise, and is more Eye atractive. Since I only Tested the Club3D , I assure you, you can’t go Wrong with the Club3D HD6850.Why?

This is what you should expect from It:

  • Simple ,yet good looking Package
  • Very Good relation Performance/Price
  • Average Overclocking Cpabilities
  • Cool ,Quiet and good looking Card

Thanks to Club3D for supplying this sample.

Best Regards







About the Author

Pedro